A place in the last eight of the Europa League is on offer this evening as Newcastle United take on Anzhi Makhachkala of Russia in this second leg Round of 16 tie.
With the tie balanced at 0-0 following the stalemate in Moscow it’s all still to play for and neither team is out of the running.
The presence of away goals is dangerous one and no doubt Amzhi will be looking to exploit that so we have to keep things tight at the back. Having said that, we still need to score if we are to make sure that it’s us who progresses to the next round so we can’t “park the bus” and will need to push forward ourselves which could leave holes for a rather threatening Anzhi attack to exploit.
Another interesting balancing act is the need to progress tonight whilst keeping one eye on our fixture against Wigan on Sunday. Granted we don’t have a 4,000 mile round trip to consider this time, but we still need to keep a degree of freshness in our side ready for a trip to an in-form Wigan side. Some rotation may occur, but I still expect to see a strong side picked.
For a more detailed look at the fixture, including injury news for both sides, some facts and stats and some random thoughts about the match itself, why not take a look at my match preview, which is online here, if you haven’t already had a peek at it.
The game will be live in the UK on ESPN so if you can’t make it to the ground then don’t worry. If you haven’t got ESPN then a whole host of overseas broadcasters are showing the match so picking up a stream shouldn’t be a problem. Once again guys, if you do find a good stream then by all means feel free to share it by posting a link to it in the ‘comments’ section below.
I should have been home tonight but I’ve been exiled in Europe for an extra 24 hours due to the snow and travel conditions which means I’m not around to add the team news in. However, Big Dave is and will add it in at the bottom of this article as soon as he can.
I think that’s just about all of it covered and we can leave the rest of the story which will unfold this evening up to the players and manager at St James’ Park. Hopefully we’ll be talking about the match for the right reasons at full-time and can look forward to who we might be facing in the Quarter Finals of the Europa League.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Elliot; Santon, S.Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara; Anita, Tiote, Cabaye (c); Marveaux, Cisse, Sissoko.
Subs: Harper, Perch, Bigirimana, Obertan, Gutierrez, Campbell, Shola Ameobi.
FC Anzhi Makhachkala: Gabulov; Eschenko, Ewerton, Joao Carlos, Zhirkov; Jucilei, Ahmedov, Diarra; Boussoufa, Eto’o, Carcela-Gonzalez.
Subs: Pomazan, Agalarov, Tagirbekov, Shatov, Logashov, Traore, Smolov.